Why is South Korea's Son Heung-min wearing a mask at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar match against Ghana?
Son Heung-min has been declared fit to start for South Korea in their World Cup opener against Uruguay, but he will be wearing a black protective face mask. The Tottenham winger fractured his eye socket earlier in November during a Champions League game against Marseille. He has kept wearing the mask for the second World Cup group game against Ghana.
'I've seen at World Cups how pressure leads to bad results,' says Son
“I think the fact he would be wearing a mask is not an inconvenience for him. It is rather natural for him.
"We have stuck to the plan since we arrived here, and also the way we integrated him into our group shows it has been natural.
“Our hope is he will feel comfortable to the greatest extent possible and we’ll use the best strategy so he will feel at ease during the game.”
Protective masks are by now a relatively common sight in football, helping players with facial injuries continue to compete.
He wore the mask in the opener against Uruguay and kept it for the second game against Ghana.
Who else is wearing masks at the World Cup?
DOHA, QATAR - NOVEMBER 23: Thomas Meunier of Belgium during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group F match between Belgium and Canada at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on November 23, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Image credit: Getty Images
Belgium’s Thomas Meunier, Croatia’s Josko Gvardiol and Tunisia's Ellyes Skhiri have already been seen on World Cup pitches wearing face masks this year.
Meunier came off the bench during Belgium’s 1-0 win over Canada on Wednesday, Gvardiol started in Croatia’s 0-0 draw with Morocco, while Skhiri played the full game as Tunisia held Denmark to a goalless draw.
The Belgian is wearing a mask after fracturing his cheekbone in a game against Hannover earlier this season, while Gvardiol sported a black mask as he recovers from breaking his nose on November 10.
Son, 30, is South Korea’s captain and has scored 35 goals in 105 caps for his country.
The Asian country are up against Uruguay, Ghana and Portugal in Group H.
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